In Eva Province, there was a bar called “Spirits,” which was a gathering of traveling soldiers and secretly assassins. This bar was run by Fai Dong, an assassin in secret. He opened the bar for the main purpose of gathering information on potential targets. He was serious in his work, but at the moment for the past three days, he had been in a sour mood. The cause of his sour mood was because his partner in the assassin profession had not returned. The other reason was because he saw that Megumi was still alive. Megumi: the one who did an Obedience Vow on him and the one who his partner, Ju-Long, was supposed to have killed for him. Fai was grinding his teeth at the thought of either Megumi or Ju-Long.
Fai thought of ways to kill Megumi and ways to punish Ju-Long for taking so long, but his thought process was interrupted, when he heard someone say, “Excuse me, I would like a drink.” Fai put on his professional smile as he looked at the customer.
“What would you like to drink sir?” asked Fai. Fai’s eyes widened when he saw that the man wore high priced material and had a sword on his waist. The man’s hair was long and nearly covered his eyes, if it wasn’t for the headband, but what made Fai surprised was the symbol on the headband: the mafia symbol of the Nue family.
“Is something wrong?” asked the man from the mafia. Fai shook his head and said, “Nothing is wrong, so what would you like to drink?” The man smirked and asked, “Do you have Shiho wine?” Fai’s professional posture nearly faltered. This mafia man was asking for the wine he bought from Megumi. Just the name made him burn in anger.
“Do you have it?”
Fai nodded as he pulled out a bottle of the Shiho wine. He poured the man a glass and asked, “Is that all?” The man took a sip and then said, “Just one more thing.”
“What is it?”
“Do you know anyone named Keiki Nue here?”
“That name is unfamiliar to me.”
“All right then can you tell me if a boy named Megumi Yoh is here.”
Fai flinched and asked, “You know Megumi Yoh?” The man nodded and placed a bag of silver coins on the counter before Fai.
“If you know where Megumi is located then please deliver a message to him for me, Mr. Assassin.”
Fai’s eyes widened as he felt a pressure from this unknown man’s very form.
Meanwhile, Megumi and Keiki were back in the official’s residence in the room where Ju-Long was resting in for three days. Megumi was helping Ju-Long to sit up as she began to remove the bandages from his body. As she removed the bandages, Keiki was looking over her shoulder. Megumi groaned and glared back at Keiki.
“Can you give me room please?” asked Megumi in annoyance. Keiki pouted and said, “I’m just watching.”
“Watch the wall then.”
“Why would I do that?” yelled Keiki. Ju-Long groaned this time and said, “I am still being treated so please shut your mouth jealous girlfriend.”
“Who are you calling a jealous girlfriend?” roared Keiki. It seemed like he was ready to burst into flames from his raging anger. Megumi sighed as she continued to unwrap Ju-Long.
The door suddenly flung open and the next thing Megumi knew, Yumi was hugging her from behind in a tight hug saying, “Megumi!” Megumi groaned and glanced back at Yumi.
“Can you please stop hugging me out of the blue?” asked Megumi. Yumi giggled and said, “But hugging you is one of my joys my darling Megumi.” Megumi sighed, while Keiki tried not to laugh.
Ju-Long, whose eyes were still wrapped, heard Yumi’s voice and asked, “Is that Lady Yumi hugging you again?”
“That’s right and she needs to leave the room,” stated Megumi. Yumi shook her head and stated, “I want to stay with you Megumi.” Ju-Long suddenly smirked and said, “I can make Lady Yumi leave right away.” Megumi raised an eyebrow, but when she saw Ju-Long clench the blankets, she immediately covered Yumi’s eyes screaming, “Don’t look!” Ju-Long yanked the covers off revealing his manhood for all to see. Megumi managed to force Yumi out and lock the door from the inside, while Keiki was laughing nonstop.
Megumi glared at Ju-Long and yelled, “Don’t flash that thing at Yumi!” Ju-Long chuckled.
“Ah come on, no woman can resist my charm and I got Yumi to leave the room,” stated Ju-Long. Keiki stopped laughing and added, “He’s got a point.” Megumi groaned.
Megumi heard a knock on the door followed by Yumi’s voice saying, “Megumi, can I come in?”
“As of now, you can’t come in unless you want to go blind,” stated Megumi making Ju-Long pout with crossed legs.
Yumi was silent for a short while and then said, “Well I hoped to spend more time with you, but I got a message from father telling me to return this morning.” Yumi placed her hand on the door and added, “Just remember that I refuse to give up and will return in the future.”
Megumi crossed her arms as she leaned against the door and said, “The answer will always be the same no matter what you do.”
Yumi smiled and said, “Still, I won’t give up.” Yumi kissed the door before saying, “Goodbye and I love you.” Yumi then ran off down the hall.
Megumi sighed and went back to Ju-Long. Ju-Long whistled and stated, “Keiki was right when he said that you are a lady killer.” Megumi frowned.
“I am not.”
“Oh really? Well Keiki told me about that courtesan Lady Hime who wants to marry you and how you convinced girl salesmen to give you a discount with just a wink and a smile,” stated Ju-Long. Megumi groaned as she began to unwrap Ju-Long again.
“Hime does want to marry me, but I already refused and Keiki exaggerated how I got good deals from girls.”
“Lady killer,” teased Ju-Long. Megumi tightened the bandage on Ju-Long’s arm making him cringe and said, “Let’s see how long you can tease me before I break your arm.”
“You can’t harm your patient!” exclaimed Ju-Long. Keiki shrugged and stated, “Megumi isn’t an official doctor so he can do what he wants.”
Ju-Long pouted as Megumi loosened the bandage to remove it. Megumi was about to remove the bandage from Ju-Long’s eyes, but there was suddenly a knock on the door.
“Who is it?” called Megumi.
“What do you want?” asked Megumi.
“To greet you of course and there is someone here to see you as well.”
Megumi looked at Keiki and asked, “Can you open the door please?” Keiki nodded and headed to the door. Megumi, in the meantime, unraveled the bandages on Ju-Long’s eyes slowly.
“Don’t open your eyes until I say it is OK, all right?” warned Megumi. Ju-Long nodded as light began to invade his eyelids.
Keiki opened the door and looked at Reiji with a frown.
“So who did you bring, Reiji?” asked Keiki in a somewhat bitter tone. Reiji smiled and said, “Well nice to see you too, Keiki, and I brought this man for Megumi.” Reiji held his hand at the man standing next to him directing Keiki’s attention to him. The man standing next to Reiji was none other than Fai with a sour look on his face.
“And who is he?” asked Keiki with a questionable look. Fai bowed to Keiki and said, “My name is Fai Dong and I have come here bearing a message for Megumi Yoh.” Keiki stared at Fai and then glanced back into the room toward Megumi, who was just about finished in removing the bandages from Ju-Long.
“Reiji brought a guy with a message for you,” stated Keiki. Megumi glanced back at Keiki and said, “Let Reiji and the guy in already.” Keiki nodded and opened the door wider for Reiji and Fai.
“Make it quick,” stated Keiki. Reiji glanced at Keiki and asked, “Why do I have to get your permission to see Megumi?” Keiki smirked and announced, proudly, “Because I am the one responsible for Megumi.”
Megumi sighed and said, “Yeah, yeah, just keep dreaming.” Keiki groaned with a light blush on his cheek, while Reiji chuckled. Ju-Long chuckled too and added, “Keiki got rejected again.”
“Shut up!” screamed Keiki as he glared toward Ju-Long.
Fai flinched when he heard Ju-Long’s voice and looked toward Megumi. He felt like he had been hit by lightning when he saw Ju-Long sitting on the bed completely naked with Megumi sitting in front of him.
“Ju-Long?” roared Fai. Ju-Long flinched, his eyes still closed. He gulped grabbing Megumi’s small wrist as she placed the last of the bandages next to her and asked, in a nervous tone, “Does that voice belong to Fai?” Megumi looked in Fai’s direction noticing his almost demonic glare and looked back at Ju-Long saying, “That’s him.” Ju-Long gulped waving in Fai’s direction.
“Hey, Fai,” greeted Ju-Long. Fai was shaking in anger. He was about to run at Ju-Long most likely to strangle him, but stopped when Reiji asked, “Does Ju-Long know Fai Dong?” Megumi nodded and stated, “They’re friends.”
Megumi smirked in Fai’s direction and asked, “Isn’t that right, Fai?” Fai could hear the mischievousness behind Megumi’s voice and so he knew that if he claimed otherwise, Megumi would reveal his assassin status. Fai groaned crossing his arms and said, “Ju-Long is my friend.” Ju-Long nodded with a smile.
“That’s good to hear,” stated Reiji, not bothering to ask why Megumi didn’t mention Fai in the past three days since treating Ju-Long.
Keiki suddenly crossed his arms and asked, “So what is the message for Megumi?” Fai glanced at Keiki and then back at Megumi saying, “Before I give the message, can you explain to me why my FRIEND is here and why he looks so beat up?” Megumi nodded.
“Ju-Long got hurt during his errand because of an old friend of mine, so I brought him here to be treated. The recovery took three days, but he should be good to go.”
Ju-Long nodded, his eyes still closed, and added, “I feel a lot better now, but I can honestly say that Megumi’s so called friend is a demon.” Fai didn’t know why, but he could see that Ju-Long was shaking when he mentioned the friend of Megumi as a demon. Fai guessed that the friend of Megumi’s was more than Ju-Long could handle and knowing Ju-Long himself hoped that he would never meet this friend of Megumi’s during one of his missions.
“So can you tell me why Ju-Long’s eyes are closed?” asked Fai. Megumi nodded placing a hand on Ju-Long’s cheek making Ju-Long flinch.
“He needed to have medicine applied to his eyes for the three day recovery to keep his eyesight. His eyes are just closed for now, so I can make sure that none of the medicine leaked out during the healing process.”
Fai frowned and asked, “So you’re a doctor now?” Megumi shook her head and stated, “I only have knowledge of the healing arts, the real doctor is…”
“A jerk who can’t even apply the medicine right,” stated Ju-Long with a frown. Fai’s face was filled with confusion. Keiki chuckled and added, “Ju-Long threatened the real doctor of Eva Province to stay away from him. He wouldn’t let anyone, but Megumi touch him.” Megumi nodded with a sigh. Ju-Long crossed his arms and stated, “Well, Megumi does a better job than that jerk.”
Fai noticed that Ju-Long’s cheeks became tinted red and frowned. He glared at Megumi and asked, “Can Ju-Long leave today?” Megumi nodded removing her hand from Ju-Long.
“He’s good and he can open his eyes now,” stated Megumi. Ju-Long opened his eyes slowly revealing that the cloudiness in his eyes from before had vanished leaving his vision absolutely clear. The first thing he saw was Megumi staring at him with a smile. Ju-Long looked away placing a hand against his reddening face.
“Thank you, Megumi.”
Megumi nodded. Fai groaned as he glared at Ju-Long. He was ready to grab Ju-Long once again, but he heard Reiji clear his throat loudly making him look at Reiji.
“Aren’t you going to give the message to Megumi?” asked Reiji. Fai nodded looking back at Megumi.
“A guy, he didn’t tell me his name, wanted me to tell you to meet him in the Dango restaurant near the market place.”
Megumi raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why would I do that, if I don’t even know his name?” Fai scratched the back of his head with a groan.
“He also told me that you have to bring Keiki Nue with you and that I should say…The Dragon calls to make you come.”
Megumi’s and Keiki’s eyes widened. Keiki gulped and asked, “He told you to say that?” Fai nodded. Keiki turned pale and glanced at Megumi.
“I don’t have to come right?” asked Keiki nervously making Reiji confused for he knew that Keiki always wanted to go wherever Megumi went. Megumi smirked at Keiki and said, “You better see him.” Keiki groaned lowering his head in a depressed form.
Ju-Long chuckled and asked, “Is the guy you have to meet really that bad?” Keiki nodded and stated, “He’s almost as bad as Goran.” Ju-Long flinched turning pale himself.
Fai scoffed and said, “I don’t know who this guy is, but I’ve delivered the message, so I’ll be leaving now.” Fai suddenly grabbed Ju-Long and added, “With Ju-Long.” Ju-Long saw how intense Fai’s glare was toward him and flinched.
“I’ll leave after I change,” stated Ju-Long grabbing a folded shirt from his side. Fai nodded and then glared toward Megumi. He moved his lips toward Megumi. Megumi was able to read his lips, which was saying, “Ju-Long failed to kill you, but I will kill you when this mark on me disappears.” Megumi smirked and mouthed back, “Just try it.” Fai groaned and began to drag a dressed Ju-Long out the door.
When they were out of the room, Reiji looked at Megumi and said, “If you have to meet that man who sent the message, I can convince Chiriko to give you another day off.” Megumi smiled at Reiji and said, “That would help, thanks.” Reiji nodded and left the room closing the door behind him.
Megumi looked at Keiki, who still looked pale, and stated, “We should get moving.” Keiki nodded as he began to leave the room with Megumi.
Meanwhile, Fai was dragging Ju-Long down the dusty path of the market place. Ju-Long looked at Fai with a serious look and said, “I know that you’re mad that I failed to kill Megumi, but that merchant Goran tortured me.” Fai glared back at Ju-Long.
“Torture or not, you had so much contact with Megumi and many chances to kill him.”
“I know that, but Megumi saved me from that demon merchant and as an assassin I had to repay Megumi. A life for a life, aren’t I right?”
Fai groaned turning away from Ju-Long.
“Well because of that, I can’t help you in your assignment,” stated Fai.
Fai suddenly stopped in his tracks looking back at Ju-Long and asked, “Who was the target anyway?” Ju-Long smirked.
“A man who keeps peace between most of the mafia groups, a man that has escaped assassination for years, a man that can make the assassin who kills him famous.”
Fai smirked and stated, “A man that all assassins know.” Ju-Long nodded feeling his need to kill rise.
On the other hand, Reiji was in one of the studies in the official residence with Chiriko and Naohito, who were looking over some budgeting documents. Reiji bowed to Chiriko and said, “I know there is still work to be done, but Megumi needed to meet someone important to Keiki, so if it is alright, can Megumi get another day off and I will work his share of work.” Chiriko glanced at Reiji and then went back to writing in the document before him.
“I will allow it because Megumi has worked hard in the past three days, while taking care of Ju-Long, but I do expect you to work harder for Megumi’s share.”
Reiji nodded and said, “Thank you, Lord Chiriko.” Chiriko nodded and then glanced at Naohito.
“Work with Reiji for a while, while I go into the market,” ordered Chiriko. Naohito nodded and watched Chiriko walk pass Reiji out the door. Reiji grabbed one of the budget documents and then looked at Naohito.
“So Lord Chiriko had plans as well?” asked Reiji. Naohito nodded and stated, “Well the official who will take over Eva Province should be coming tomorrow, so this is Chiriko’s last chance to go to the market.”
“Did he want to buy something?” asked Reiji. Naohito nodded and then looked back at the budget document before him.
“It’s just a small present, now let’s get to work,” stated Naohito. Reiji nodded feeling that Naohito seemed more like an official. As Reiji sat down, he remembered Megumi when she treated Ju-Long and smiled hoping to see Megumi’s angelic smile once again when she returns.
Megumi and Keiki, on the other hand, were finally nearing the Dango restaurant. Keiki and Megumi stopped in front on the opening of the Dango restaurant. Keiki gulped shaking.
“I wonder why he wants to see us,” muttered Keiki with sweat against his brow.
Megumi smirked and said, “Maybe it has something to do with you sticking with me.” Keiki groaned glancing at Megumi.
“I said it many times, I stick with you because of my promise as a man,” stated Keiki. Megumi chuckled, but then her eyes suddenly widened making Keiki raise an eyebrow.
“What’s wrong?” asked Keiki.
Suddenly, a firm hand gripped the top of his head making Keiki gasp. Keiki managed to glance back and saw the man obviously from the mafia, but now a dragon tattoo was more visible on his exposed chest, smirking at him. Keiki turned pale as he said, “Grandpa Ryuunosuke?”
The man’s, Ryuunosuke, smirk grew wider as he increased his hold on Keiki’s head making Keiki cringe.
“Now, now Keiki, you have to call me Ryuunosuke-Sama.”
Keiki gripped Ryuunosuke’s hand saying, “Ryuunosuke-Sama” repeatedly with desperation behind his voice. Ryuunosuke chuckled and then noticed Megumi looking at him with wide eyes. He smirked at Megumi and said, “Long time no see, Megumi.” Megumi relaxed as she smiled and bowed to him.
“Nice to see you again, Ryuunosuke,” greeted Megumi. Ryuunosuke nodded as he began to hold Keiki in a loose choke hold. Keiki groaned glaring at Megumi.
“Why do you get to call him without an honorific?” yelled Keiki. Before Megumi could answer, Ryuunosuke increased his hold on Keiki making him turn blue.
“Megumi is a special case, now be nice.”
Keiki nodded begging to be free. The minute Ryuunosuke released Keiki, Keiki ran to Megumi’s side gasping for air. Ryuunosuke chuckled and stated, “You always act like I am trying to kill you.”
“Why do you say that?” asked Ryuunosuke placing a hand under his chin.
“You have to ask? You’ve forced me to stay in the forest without food for nearly a week when I was just three and continued to torture me every time you visited Go Province!” yelled Keiki close to tears. Ryuunosuke chuckled.
“Good times, my ass!”
Ryuunosuke chuckled and then his look turned serious making Keiki flinch.
“I came here for a reason and the reason is you.”
“What about me?” asked Keiki already afraid of the answer. Ryuunosuke adjusted his high material yukata and said, “I heard that you have left Go Province in pursuit of who killed Megumi’s family.” Keiki and Megumi flinched.
Megumi clenched her fist and asked, “So you already know what happened to my family?” Ryuunosuke nodded and added, “I heard from the Nue clan, but sadly I don’t know who did such a horrible deed.” Megumi frowned.
Ryuunosuke focused on Keiki and said, “I know you want to find the killers because of your infatuation with Mikan Yoh, but you have to remember that you are the heir to the Nue Clan.” Keiki frowned clenching his fist.
“I know that, but I can never…”
“Never forget Mikan, I know that, but remember that you have to return to Go Province soon before the other mafia clans advance there,” stated Ryuunosuke. Keiki groaned. Keiki glanced at Megumi and then back at Ryuunosuke.
“I will return by the end of this month, but I promised to stick with Megumi for the time being, so please allow me to stay with him.”
Ryuunosuke stared at Keiki and saw the seriousness in his eyes and smirked.
“Well you did promise, so I will allow it, but if anything happens to the Nue Clan then you must return.”
Ryuunosuke looked back at Megumi and said, “Keiki is trying to find who did this to your family and I will do the same, but no promises on my part for I have to remain neutral in the mafia world.” Megumi nodded.
Ryuunosuke smiled and suddenly placed a hand on Megumi’s and Keiki’s shoulder.
“Now that the serious talk is over, how about you buy me some Dango and Sake,” stated Ryuunosuke. Keiki groaned and yelled, “I knew it was weird that you summoned us to a Dango restaurant!”
“Well I have to eat, Keiki,” stated Ryuunosuke. Keiki groaned crossing his arms.
“Fine, but Megumi will p…”
Keiki gasped when he realized that Megumi was already in the restaurant sitting at an empty seat.
“Why are you in there already?” roared Keiki. Megumi smirked and said, “Saving a seat, so you will have to pay.” Keiki groaned cursing under his breath. Ryuunosuke chuckled entering the restaurant.
“Megumi really is the best.”
Keiki flinched glaring in Megumi’s direction.
While Keiki ordered Ryuunosuke’s food, Ryuunosuke sat with Megumi and smirked at her.
“You know the offer still stands right?” asked Ryuunosuke. Megumi glanced at Ryuunosuke placing her hand under her chin.
“And my answer is still no,” whispered Megumi.
“Even though your family is now dead?” whispered Ryuunosuke. Megumi glared at Ryuunosuke.
“Even with them dead, I still refuse to join your mafia group,” whispered back Megumi. Ryuunosuke shrugged.
“I knew you had potential since I first laid eyes on you six years ago. It really is such a waste for you to become an official.”
Megumi remained silent looking away from Ryuunosuke.
Unbeknownst to them, Ju-Long and Fai were entering the Dango restaurant. Fai groaned and asked, “Why do you want to go in here?”
“I haven’t had Dango since I was bed ridden and I want to see who Megumi and Keiki came here to meet,” stated Ju-Long. Fai scoffed.
“I understand you want to eat, but why would you want to go somewhere where you know Megumi is when you know how much I hate him.”
“Ah come on, I was curious and Megumi isn’t so bad,” stated Ju-Long. Fai groaned crossing his arms. He would have left Ju-Long, but he didn’t want to take the risk of losing sight of him after he disappeared for three days.
Ju-Long scanned the crowd until he finally saw Megumi sitting at a table.
“There’s Megumi,” stated Ju-Long pointing at Megumi. Fai looked toward Megumi and frowned.
“Just the sight of him makes me want to kill him,” whispered Fai making Ju-Long chuckle. Ju-Long noticed Ryuunosuke next to Megumi and felt his eyes widen.
“The guy next to Megumi, is he the one who told you to deliver the message?”
Fai looked at Ryuunosuke and nodded adding, “He somehow knew I was an assassin.” Ju-Long smirked clenching his fists.
“That man is the target I was assigned to kill.”
Fai gasped and whispered, “Really?” Ju-Long nodded and whispered, “The impossible target: Ryuunosuke.” Fai clenched his fist with a scowl.
“He’s so close, but I can’t kill him unless Megumi orders me to,” muttered Fai in frustration. Ju-Long smirked at Fai and said, “I’ll find a way, so for now, let’s get some Dango.” Fai sighed in response and began to head toward the Dango stand glancing in Megumi’s direction once in a while. Ju-Long glanced in the same direction his focus mostly on Ryuunosuke. Ju-Long smiled to himself feeling the familiar urge to kill.
In the market place, Chiriko was walking through the market stands. He stopped in front of a stand containing a variety of different patterned shirts and began to browse through them. The woman at the stand looked at Chiriko and asked, “Is there a specific patterned shirt you want?” Chiriko nodded with a smile.
“I would like a shirt that is light blue and, if possible, with a design of the moon.”
“I’ll see if we have that kind of shirt,” stated the woman as she began to flip through the shirt designs. Chiriko sighed standing before the stand. He remembered Megumi’s aquamarine eyes and how her hair seemed to shine in the moon when she was walking near the palace gardens. He thought Megumi resembled that of a Goddess. He gasped realizing his thoughts and placed a hand to his forehead with a troubled look.
“Maybe this is a sign that I should find a wife now,” whispered Chiriko.
“Sir, I found the shirt you wanted,” stated the woman pulling out a shirt from the very bottom. Chiriko looked at the shirt, which was light blue, but had dark marks resembling clouds with a grayish full moon at the left sleeve making it seem like it was ready to come alive for the night. Chiriko nodded pulling out his money pouch.
“I’ll take it,” stated Chiriko. The woman took ten silver pieces from Chiriko before handing him the shirt. Chiriko draped the shirt over his arm and began to head back to the official residence, but the next thing he knew, he felt a sharp pain behind his head and then everything went black.
Back in the Dango restaurant, Ryuunosuke munched on five Dango sticks soaked in pepper sauce with Keiki glaring at him and Megumi drinking a glass of water with her own Dango stick in front of her. Ryuunosuke licked his lips and then winked at Keiki saying, “Thanks for the meal.”
“You’re evil,” muttered Keiki. Ryuunosuke chuckled and forced a Dango ball into Keiki’s mouth. Keiki gagged coughing out the spicy Dango.
“Don’t waste food, Keiki,” stated Ryuunosuke laughing. Keiki fanned his tongue and grabbed Megumi’s glass of water, gulping the water down. Megumi sighed placing a hand under her chin.
“Ryuunosuke really likes to tease you,” stated Megumi. Keiki told her to be quiet still fanning his tongue. Ryuunosuke chuckled. Ryuunosuke suddenly felt a chill in the air and frowned making Megumi look at him with a raised eyebrow.
“Is something wrong, Ryuunosuke?” asked Megumi. Ryuunosuke smiled at Megumi saying, “I’m fine, Megumi.” Ryuunosuke jugged down his bottle of Sake and then stood up smiling.
“I just remembered that I have other things to take care of, so I’ll take my leave,” stated Ryuunosuke. He patted Keiki’s head and then patted Megumi’s head saying, “I hope to see you again, Megumi.” Megumi nodded watching Ryuunosuke leave the Dango Restaurant. Megumi entwined her fingers looking at Keiki.
“Ryuunosuke really hasn’t changed,” muttered Megumi. Keiki looked at Megumi with a glass of water still in his hand and asked, “Why are you saying that now?” Megumi frowned glancing in the direction Ryuunosuke left.
“You might not notice it, but Ryuunosuke was always bad at lying,” stated Megumi with seriousness in her voice. Keiki frowned clenching his fist.
“Only you can tell that,” whispered Keiki feeling jealous of Megumi’s natural talent. Megumi didn’t respond as she got up from her chair.
Ryuunosuke walked away from the restaurant not looking up, until he reached the mostly empty part of Eva Province. He looked up with seriousness in his eyes standing firm.
“So you’re the new assassin assigned to kill me?”
Out of the shadows stepped out Ju-Long gripping his dagger to his side.
“You already knew I was coming?” asked Ju-Long. Ryuunosuke nodded and stated, “I could feel your need to kill, while in the restaurant.” Ryuunosuke glanced back at Ju-Long with a glint in his eye.
“I’m glad you were smart enough to leave the restaurant.”
Ju-Long chuckled twisting his dagger in his hand.
“To be honest, I would have killed everyone in the restaurant if you remained in there,” stated Ju-Long. Ryuunosuke narrowed his eyes as he turned toward Ju-Long.
“The way you talk, I believe that you are the assassin nicknamed the body eater. You leave nothing, but bones on your targets and kill anyone that is in your way.”
Ju-Long chuckled in amusement.
“Very good, you really are quite knowledgeable when it comes to knowing famous assassins.”
“Of course I am, since the famous ones are always after my head. I’m actually surprised that the assassin in the bar isn’t with you.”
“Well my partner can’t pursue you because of…circumstances, but I promised him that I would at least show him your head, so he’s waiting in the restaurant protecting my share of the food,” stated Ju-Long. Ryuunosuke smirked spreading out his arms.
“I don’t know which mafia group sent you, but go ahead and try to end this old man’s life. Try to end the life of Ryuunosuke!”
Ju-Long ran at Ryuunosuke ready to stab him, but Ryuunosuke dodged and pulled out a wooden pipe from his sleeve. He swung it at Ju-Long, but Ju-Long dodged to the side swiping his dagger at Ryuunosuke’s face. Ryuunosuke barely managed to dodge as the tip of the dagger scratched his cheek sending a trickle of blood running. Ryuunosuke leaped back just as Ju-Long swung his leg at Ryuunosuke’s left side. Ju-Long followed his attack, by throwing an array of daggers hidden in his sleeves. Ryuunosuke deflected the daggers using his wooden pipe and was forced to jump back again as Ju-Long did a double kick at him.
Ryuunosuke smirked as he dodged Ju-Long and said, “You fight pretty well for your age body eater.” Ju-Long jabbed his dagger at Ryuunosuke, but Ryuunosuke dodged and grabbed Ju-Long’s extended arm and tossed him against a wall. Ju-Long gasped in pain rushing to his feet.
“Give up, body eater,” warned Ryuunosuke. Ju-Long smirked and without warning kicked sand into Ryuunosuke’s face. Ryuunosuke cringed trying to get the sand out of his eyes. Ju-Long took this chance to kick Ryuunosuke’s pipe out of his hand and force a dagger into Ryuunosuke’s stomach. Ryuunosuke cringed in pain as Ju-Long smirked.
“I guess age finally caught up with you, old man,” whispered Ju-Long twisting the dagger in Ryuunosuke. Ryuunosuke coughed blood into Ju-Long’s face and then smirked.
“You may be right for me to fall for such an old trick,” whispered Ryuunosuke. Ju-Long grabbed another dagger and was ready to shove it into Ryuunosuke’s forehead, but froze when he heard a familiar voice call out, “Ryuunosuke!” Ju-Long looked at the only entrance to the area and saw Megumi and Keiki staring at him with wide eyes.
“Megumi, Keiki?” muttered Ju-Long his grip still on the dagger. Keiki’s eyes were wide as he looked at Ryuunosuke’s bleeding form.
“What’s going on?” asked Keiki in disbelief. Megumi clenched her fist glaring at Ju-Long.
“I knew that Ryuunosuke was hiding something, but to think that an assassin had come for him and to top it off it was the assassin that I spared.”
Ju-Long frowned, while Keiki looked at Megumi with wide eyes.
“You…you knew that guy Ju-Long was an assassin?” exclaimed Keiki. Megumi nodded and added, “He did try to assassinate me three days ago.” Keiki gritted his teeth angered that Megumi kept such information from him.
Ju-Long chuckled and said, “Well I am an assassin and Ryuunosuke was my target back in Eru Province. I have to kill him to get paid and for the glory.” Megumi and Keiki frowned.
Ryuunosuke suddenly chuckled making Ju-Long raise an eyebrow.
“What’s so funny?” demanded Ju-Long.
“For the glory? Don’t make me laugh. You just want to kill no matter who it is. You are a monster that can never stop killing,” spat out Ryuunosuke. Ju-Long gritted his teeth and was about to stab Ryuunosuke in the neck, but he was suddenly kicked into the wall by Megumi.
Megumi glared at Ju-Long as Ryuunosuke struggled to his feet with Keiki by his side. Ju-Long growled as he got up gripping the blood covered dagger in his right hand.
“Don’t stop me from completing my assignment. I have to kill him!” yelled Ju-Long. Megumi shook her head.
“Ryuunosuke is needed for the mafia clans. Not all the clans follow his example, but he is still the reason why there isn’t an all-out war of the mafia in Yulan. You have to understand that, so let him live.”
Ju-Long gripped the dagger tighter his form shaking.
“I can’t do that. I need to kill him. I need to see him with nothing but bones,” stated Ju-Long. Ju-Long ran at Megumi, but Megumi caught his wrist and shoved him back against the wall.
“I won’t let you kill him!” declared Megumi.
Ryuunosuke stared at Megumi’s back holding his bleeding stomach and smiled with blood on the side of his lips.
“He really is the best,” whispered Ryuunosuke making Keiki confused.
Ju-Long ran at Megumi again this time swinging his dagger at her face. Megumi dodged and then grabbed his wrist once again. Ju-Long took this chance to kick Megumi in the side, but Megumi retaliated by slamming him into the ground. Ju-Long cringed in pain and was shocked when he realized that Megumi’s strength was preventing him from getting up. Ju-Long was panting and then shut his eyes.
“Kill me now.”
“What?” asked Megumi in disbelief.
“I rather die than live with the shame that I failed to kill Ryuunosuke when he is so close.”
Megumi frowned and head-butted Ju-Long’s forehead making Ryuunosuke’s and Keiki’s eyes widen and Ju-Long gasp in pain and open his eyes. Megumi glared at Ju-Long as tears seeped out of the side of his eyes.
“Assassins fail to get their target once in a while like Fai and Saori, but they continue to live with the promise to get revenge. Failing a job does not give you the right to die. It means that you have to work harder.”
Ju-Long frowned and said, “Fine, but if you don’t kill me now, I will kill Ryuunosuke eventually and I might kill you too, so Fai can work with me again.” Megumi was silent with seriousness in her eyes.
“What will make you stop killing?” asked Megumi. Ju-Long smirked and said, “You should know, right?” Megumi glanced back at Keiki and said, “I need you to get me a match.”
Ryuunosuke smirked pulling out a thick match from his sleeve. He tossed it to Megumi and said, “You should know that Keiki doesn’t smoke.” Megumi caught the match as Keiki glared at Ryuunosuke.
Megumi lit the match using the handle of Ju-Long’s dagger and then leaned toward Ju-Long’s left ear.
“Are you sure you want me to do this?” asked Megumi. Ju-Long nodded and whispered, “As long as it is you, Megumi.” Megumi pressed the burning match against the right of his neck making him scream out in pain. Keiki turned pale, while Ryuunosuke smiled in amusement wiping the blood from his lips.
A burn mark almost black with burned blood formed on Ju-Long’s neck. Megumi discarded the match and then whispered, “Haedap.” Ju-Long smirked with sweat against his brow.
“I am bond by your word, master.”
Megumi got off him and stated, “You are forbidden to kill as long as you live.” Ju-Long stood up shaking from the pain in his neck and nodded.
“I will control the urge to kill.”
Megumi and Ju-Long suddenly heard clapping followed by Ryuunosuke’s voice saying, “So ends the body eater forever.” Megumi and Ju-Long looked at Ryuunosuke and gasped when they saw that he was standing up with blood stained clothes, but no wound in sight. Keiki was just as shocked as he looked at Ryuunosuke with an uneasy look.
Ju-Long pointed at Ryuunosuke as he placed a hand on his burn.
“I know I stabbed you, so why are you unharmed?” demanded Ju-Long. Ryuunosuke chuckled patting a pale Keiki’s head.
“I heal fast.”
“That’s too fast!” yelled Ju-Long.
“Well I am the impossible target for a reason,” joked Ryuunosuke as he laughed in a jolly manner. Ju-Long was completely bewildered.
Ju-Long suddenly felt a cloth touch his neck and looked at Megumi.
“Master, what are you doing?”
“I’m covering your burn and don’t call me master.”
Ju-Long narrowed his eyes and asked, “Why aren’t you that surprised that Ryuunosuke healed quickly?” Megumi smiled looking at Ryuunosuke.
“I’ve seen him heal fast before when I accidently stabbed his side with a practice sword, but it still surprises me.”
Ryuunosuke chuckled and added, “Keiki has seen it before too, but that doesn’t stop him from being surprised.” Keiki managed to slip away from Ryuunosuke and yelled, “That’s why I call you a monster!” Ryuunosuke laughed grabbing Keiki into a choke hold. Keiki gasped begging to be released.
Ju-Long looked at Keiki nervously and whispered, “Now I understand why Keiki said that Ryuunosuke was like that merchant.” Megumi nodded as she wrapped the cloth around Ju-Long’s neck.
Ju-Long looked back at Megumi and said, “Just to let you know, Fai is not going to be happy that I can’t kill anymore and he will try to kill you when his mark disappears.”
“Well I already told him that he could try, but maybe you can convince him not to kill me,” stated Megumi. Ju-Long chuckled just as Megumi finished wrapping his neck.
“Don’t worry; I’ll make sure that Fai doesn’t kill you.”
Megumi nodded and the next thing she knew, Ju-Long had run off past Ryuunosuke and Keiki. Ryuunosuke released Keiki allowing Keiki to run to Megumi’s side.
“Well I should be going now to check on other mafia clans,” stated Ryuunosuke changing his headband to a different mafia group symbol. Keiki frowned and stated, “If you weren’t neutral, the Nue clan would call you a traitor, grand…” Ryuunosuke smiled at Keiki, but Keiki could see malice behind the smile and immediately said, repeatedly, “Ryuunosuke-Sama!”
Ryuunosuke nodded in approval and looked back at Megumi.
“You tamed that assassin to save me, so thank you, but remember that not all assassins will be like him whether they are coming for me or for you. As an official your life will be in constant danger, so are you sure that you don’t want to be part of the mafia under my care?”
Megumi nodded and added, “My answer won’t change.”
“Pity, but I know that you will still have a bright future.”
Megumi nodded. Ryuunosuke winked at Keiki making Keiki flinch and added, “Don’t forget to return, Keiki.” Keiki nodded. Ryuunosuke then walked off as he waved goodbye to Keiki and Megumi.
Keiki sighed in relief and said, “I’m so glad he’s gone.” He then looked at Megumi and asked, “So is that assassin going to be traveling with us.” Megumi shook her head.
“He will only come when I need him.”
“How will he know?” asked Keiki in curiosity. Megumi placed a hand to her heart and whispered, “The Obedience Vow connects my heart to him.”
“What does that mean?” asked Keiki with a raised eyebrow. Megumi sighed and walked forward saying, “I knew you wouldn’t understand.”
“Understand what? Come on explain it to me,” begged Keiki, but Megumi ignored him making Keiki mumble different curses.
As Keiki and Megumi left the area Ju-Long watched from a high building. In truth he went to higher ground to make sure that Megumi and Keiki left the empty area unharmed.
When they were out, he was about to jump down, but stopped when he saw Fai glaring at him from the opposite building.
“Hey Fai,” greeted Ju-Long. Fai’s glare intensified.
“I saw what happened.”
“What do you mean?” asked Ju-Long. Fai clenched his fist and yelled, “You went easy on Megumi and let that bastard do an Obedience Vow on you!” Ju-Long placed a hand on his bandaged neck.
“So it was obvious that I was going easy, huh?”
“Don’t you understand what you did? He placed a permanent mark on you and now you are his slave forever. Can you live like that?”
Ju-Long remembered the feel of Megumi’s hand during the three days of his recovery and smiled with a blush against his cheek.
“I can. I only knew how to kill to live, but after meeting Megumi I want to change. I want to serve him as long as I live,” stated Ju-Long. Ju-Long then glared at Fai and added, “When your mark disappears, I will be your enemy. I will never let you kill Megumi.” Fai gritted his teeth as tears struggled to get out of his eyes.
“Traitor!” yelled Fai and then ran off jumping from roof to roof.
Ju-Long watched Fai’s retreating back and whispered an apology with a tear running down his cheek.
In the outskirts of Eva Province, Ryuunosuke was walking down the path. He glanced back into Eva Province and remembered six years ago when he met Megumi for the first time. He saw Megumi, seven-years-old beat up Keiki, who ran off crying afterward. He felt a spark when he met Megumi making him smile. Megumi was about to walk past Ryuunosuke, but Ryuunosuke grabbed her right hand and asked, “Can you tell me your name young man?” Megumi nodded saying her name.
“Would you like to join the mafia as my apprentice?” asked Ryuunosuke. Megumi shook her head and said, “I refuse to join the mafia.”
“Pity, since I see such potential in you.”
“Potential or not, I still refuse. My family needs me.”
Megumi was ready to walk off again, but Ryuunosuke suddenly grabbed her left ankle and dangled her upside down in the air. Megumi gasped and exclaimed, “What are you doing?”
“I just want to let you know that I will be staying in the Nue Clan main house for a month, so until I leave I want you to visit me every day.”
“What if I refuse, mister?”
“I will throw you into the well for a month without food.”
“That’s nothing to me.”
“…then you won’t see your family for a month.”
“I’ll do it,” replied Megumi quickly making Ryuunosuke smile. He took her shoe off and then tapped the base of her foot before dropping her on the ground. He dangled her shoe in front of her and said, “Remember the name Ryuunosuke when you come to the main house tomorrow for your shoe.” With that he walked off leaving Megumi one shoe less.
Ryuunosuke chuckled at the memory and whispered, “I really wanted him to be in the mafia, such potential to be a leader.” He began to walk off and remembered that on that same day when he removed Megumi’s shoe he tapped the sole of her left foot creating a mark shaped like a dragon fang that became invisible to the human eye.
I marked you Megumi because since I first laid eyes on you, I knew you would grow to be someone great.
Meanwhile, Megumi and Keiki were headed back to the official’s residence. Keiki glanced at Megumi and asked, “Should we tell the others about your assassin?” Megumi shook her head and added, “Don’t tell anyone even if your life is in danger.” Keiki scoffed looking away from Megumi.
Megumi and Keiki soon reached the residence and headed inside. Keiki glanced at Megumi and said, “I’ll make us some dinner.” Megumi nodded glad that Keiki was finally giving her some room.
Megumi went down a different hall from Keiki and headed to the study. When she reached the study, she opened the door and saw Naohito and Reiji working non-stop.
“Hey guys,” greeted Megumi. Reiji and Naohito greeted Megumi with a smile. Megumi grabbed a parchment and said, “I can work now, so you two rest.” Naohito nodded feeling exhausted, while Reiji continued to work saying, “I can still work, Megumi.” Megumi nodded allowing Reiji to continue.
Megumi was about to open the parchment, but stopped when Reiji asked, “Where is Keiki?”
“He’s making dinner and now that I think about it, where is Chiriko?”
Naohito smiled and said, “Big brother went out to the market. He should be back soon.” Megumi nodded and was about to open the parchment again, but stopped when she heard a loud knocking echoing through the halls. Megumi sighed placing the parchment down. She glanced at Reiji and Naohito and said, “I’ll check what the noise is.” Naohito and Reiji nodded watching Megumi walk off.
Megumi followed the knocking noise and realized that it was the front gate. She ran toward the gate and then swung it open, but to her surprise saw no one. The only thing in front of the gate was a rolled up parchment. She picked up the parchment and opened it up. Megumi’s eyes widened at the words.
If you want the official back then surrender all the money in the residence to the Blade Gang in the old mill.
Megumi clenched the parchment with an uneasy look.